Box 353650, Thomson Hall
Seattle, WA 98195-3650
Program Chair: Professor Noam Pianko
Assistant Director: Lauren Spokane
The Samuel & Althea Stroum Jewish Studies Program at the University of Washington is the premier center for Jewish scholarship in the Pacific Northwest. Nearing its 40th anniversary as a program, the SJSP’s internationally recognized faculty produces innovative scholarship that examines Jewish life in its cultural, intellectual, religious, and international contexts, and teaches many hundreds of students each year. Undergraduate students may major or minor in Jewish Studies. Graduate students may work with faculty on an individual basis.
There are now 22 UW faculty affiliated with Jewish Studies in departments including History, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, Slavic Languages and Literature, Germanics, Political Science, Education, English, Sociology, Economics, International Studies, Women’s Studies, Comparative Religion, Law and Philosophy.
Committed to offering lifelong learning opportunities to members of the community, the SJSP offers lectures and colloquia on campus that are free and open to the public throughout the academic year. Lectures feature local, national and international academic speakers on an array of topics related to Jewish studies. Event announcements are sent via email and posted on the program’s website events calendar and on its Facebook page. For over 35 years, the SJSP has proudly produced the Samuel and Althea Stroum Lectures in Jewish Studies, featuring scholars from around the nation and Israel who produce groundbreaking work in Jewish Studies. Stroum lectures are recorded and can be viewed through the Jewish Studies website.
The SJSP faculty responds to community interest in their expertise by lecturing to many groups, offering mini-courses, and consulting to Jewish organizations. Faculty members are typically involved each year in activities with more than 20 organizations — religious and secular, Jewish and non-Jewish — throughout the community. The program estimates that every year it reaches 2,000 or more non-students through its programs on and off campus. Through the UW’s Access program, the SJSP welcomes community members age 60 and over to audit its classes.
Thanks to private financial support from community members, the program has been able to meet a variety of needs that include supporting Hebrew language instruction, a requirement of the Jewish Studies major; awarding the Hazel D. Cole Fellowship in Jewish Studies to an outstanding pre- or post-doctoral student; providing academic scholarships and travel grants to UW students focusing on Jewish Studies; and supporting the development of new courses.
The program’s advisory board serves as liaison to the community, raises funds to support the program’s critical needs, and encourages community support of the SJSP.